WASHINGTON -- Chris Colabello was in the Twins' clubhouse this afternoon, the third time in three weeks he has been summoned to the big leagues. This time, though, he knows his time is limited.
To one day, actually.
Major-league rules allow teams to expand their rosters to 26 on days when they play a doubleheader, and while the rule is normally invoked to add a pitcher, the Twins already have a 13-man staff, plus an off day on Monday. So Ron Gardenhire chose to add another pinch-hitter to his bench for tomorrow's day-night doubleheader. Colabello, who will return to Rochester after tomorrow night's makeup of last night's rainout, can work out with the team today, but he cannot be in uniform or in the dugout during the game.
As for today's game, to be played under National League (no-DH) rules, Gardenhire has stacked his National League veterans at the top of the lineup. Jamey Carroll, a former Expo, Dodger and Rockie, is the leadoff hitter, and Ryan Doumit, an ex-Pirate and the Twins' hottest hitter, bats between Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham.
Willingham played here at Nationals Park in 2009 and 2010, and is apparently remembered fondly. Photos of (mostly) current Nationals line the wall outside the Nationals' clubhouse, and I noticed Willingham's portrait is among them.
Speaking of remembered fondly, Denard Span is atop the Nationals' lineup, and he sounded genuinely wistful about his Twins days before the game. He even took the Twins' P.R. staff to dinner Friday night. Aaron Hicks was supposed to join them, he said, but Hicks was asleep when he texted around 6:30 p.m. last night. Anyway, I'll have more on Span for tomorrow's paper.
Here are today's lineups for the 3 p.m. CT start -- Minnesota's first game in D.C. since July 19, 1971 -- with the Twins facing a left-handed starter for the first time since May 22:
Denard Span CF
Jayson Werth RF
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Adam LaRoche 1B
Ian Desmond SS
Anthony Rendon 2B
Roger Bernadina LF
Kurt Suzuki C
Gio Gonzalez LHP